Africa's strong economic fundamentals and investment opportunities sparked interest from Gulf investors during the third ALN Annual International Conference which concluded in Dubai on Thursday.
Under the theme, "Africa: Bridging the Gulf", the conference offered 300 members from the global investment community an insight into Africa's high-performing sectors.
McKinsey & Co unveiled findings from their latest report - Lions on the move II: Realising the potential of Africa's economies, and said that Africa will be the world's second largest growing economy by 2020.
The report also highlighted that spending by consumers and businesses today totals $4 trillion annually, and is growing rapidly.
Household consumption is expected to grow at 3.8 per cent a year to a total of $2.1 trillion by 2025. Additionally, Africa could nearly double its manufacturing output from $500 billion today to $930 billion by 2025, provided that countries take decisive actions to create an improved environment for manufacturers.
In his keynote address, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, said trade between the UAE and Africa requires a high level of transparency and hard work.
"I am confident that this conference will inspire thoughtful debate and I look forward to discussions on how to obtain more integration between Africa and the Gulf," Shaikh Nahyan said.
Renowned businessman and founder of the Mara Group Ashish J. Thakkar; chairman of ALN and former Malian Prime Minister Dr Cheick Modibo Diara; former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Managing Director AFEX Dr Jendayi Frazer, were amongst some of the top speakers during the two-day conference.
Dr Cheick Modibo Diara, who addressed the inaugural panel session - Is Africa on track to realise its potential?, said Africa is a lion ready to come out of its den and when it does, the world will be a better place because of it.
"The continent is on a strong growth trajectory and presents the investment community a myriad of opportunities to tap into," he said.
Atiq S. Anjarwalla, managing partner, Anjarwalla Collins & Haidermota, said the event is well-received by delegates from all over the globe who appreciate the lively debate and hard insights of what is happening on the African continent.
"Over the course of the day, we have been able to showcase great opportunities to invest in Africa and provide potential investors the support they need to get started. We remain confident that businesses and investors have enjoyed successful meetings and we hope long-lasting business relationships will be made, with deals initiated or struck," Anjarwalla said.
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